French Polynesia

Tonga to make international beach soccer debut

Tahiti made a big statement in their opening match thumping Vanuatu 8-2 yesterday in a spectacular display of aerial passing, flicks and scissor kicks.

Speaking after yesterday's match the Tiki Toa coach Naea Bennett says they are wary of Tonga, having never played them before, and aim to be at their best for the match.

"We take this game tomorrow seriously so I will need the boys to concentrate 100 percent and to play the game like we are used to," Naea Bennett said.

More drugs found on yacht in French Polynesia

The boat was first searched on behest of the customs department after it docked on the atoll of Apataki and 340 kilogrammes of the drug was found.

It was then transferred to Tahiti where more concealed drugs were recovered, bringing the total haul to 436 kilogrammes.

The boat had sailed from Panama and was crewed by four men - three Italians and a Peruvian.

The four are being held in Papeete and are at risk of being jailed for 30 years and incurring fines of nearly $US10 million.

System malfunction sets off tsunami alarms in Tahiti

The sirens went off in Papeete and Pirae on Tahiti as well as on Moorea and Bora Bora.

The sound of the sirens caused confusion and triggered activity on social networks.

Reports say the French High Commission was alerted by firefighters.

Repairs to the system are now reportedly underway.

 

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Edouard Fritch is re-elected French Polynesia president

In the territorial assembly, Mr Fritch of the Tapura Huiraatira received the backing of 39 of the 57 members.

He defeated the challenges of Geffry Salmon of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party and of the five-time president Oscar Temaru of the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party.

In a surprise development, an as yet unidentified Tahoeraa member also voted for Mr Fritch.

Mr Salmon received ten votes although his party has 11 members while Mr Temaru got eight votes.

Floating isle off Tahiti seeks Pacific residents

The company Blue Frontiers has released more details of its plan to build environmentally friendly floating platforms within the lagoon for people to live on and work on new technologies.

It's working with the French Polynesian government on the project which is expected to be a special economic zone at sea about the size of a soccer field, housing up to 250 people.

French Polynesia to toughen up road code

The government said it was about to table a law in the assembly which would also align it to French security moves against attacks by individuals using a vehicle.

The law in Tahiti wanted to mainly target drivers who failed to stop at check points and those caught driving while disqualified.

The tightening will see fines increase to up to $US5000 and entail jail terms of up to two years.

This also applies to anyone attempting to procure a licence illegally.

Most drivers losing their licence in French Polynesia get disqualified because of drink-driving.

Majority of Society Islands living in poverty

The data is based on a 2015 survey on expenditure in Tahiti and Moorea.

55 percent of people in French Polynesia's most populous islands are earning less than $US1,150 a month while in France 16 percent are below the poverty mark.

A quarter of the population in Tahiti receives no more than $US600 a month.

The figures also show large disparities, with the most affluent households spending nine times more than the poorest ones.

In France, the richest band of households spent about four times more than the poorest.

French Polynesia election dates approved

Tentatively, the French High Commission has approved April 22 and May 6 as dates to elect a new 57-member territorial assembly for a five-year term.

The dates are expected to be officially confirmed in December.

Electoral lists have to be drawn up by late March, with campaging starting in April.

A list has to secure 12.5 per cent of votes in the first round to make it to the run-off in May.

In the last election in 2013, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse won 38 of the 57 seats.

French Polynesia protest at Marquesas fishing project

This followed a government decision to allow large-scale fishing and the stationing of a tuna fishing fleet.

The public broadcaster said 600 people marched in Hiva Oa against the plans, presenting a petition signed by 500 people from the islands of Tahuata and Fatu Hiva who could not attend the rally.

The project, named Toa Hiva, was jointly launched by the local administrations in the Marquesas in the hope of creating 200 jobs.

It aims to base 24 tuna fishing vessels and catch about 3000 tonnes a year.

Turtle poachers caught in French Polynesia

Tahiti Nui TV reports that after a tip-off, plain clothes police went to Maupiti in the Society Islands where they searched and found almost 450 kilogrammes of turtle meat.

Five fishermen were reportedly detained for questioning and their boats seized.

The report says on the black market, a kilogramme of turtle meat can fetch up to $US100.